The GrowSF Report: Armed robbers storm Le Cafe Du Soleil
PLUS: Tell Supervisor Chan to pass emergency police funding
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of February 20th, 2023:
- Armed robbers storm Le Cafe Du Soleil
- Bird scooters leave SF, citing “the most onerous regulations” in the world
- Tenderloin merchants say the city is failing them
- Chinatown businesses fined for “illegal awnings”
- Five ways Gen Z is different (and the same)
Armed robbers storm Le Cafe Du Soleil
In what feels like a scene straight out of a movie - or just a far away place - two robbers, one armed with a gun, entered a busy coffee shop in broad daylight and attempted to steal a laptop from a patron. The customers bravely resisted, and the robbers left empty handed; more importantly, only one of three victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
This brazen, midday aggravated robbery attempt shows how bold criminals in San Francisco have become, and even if nothing was stolen, the damage to law-abiding citizens made fearful is devastating. The city must step up to keep San Franciscans safe!
Bird scooters leave SF, citing “the most onerous regulations” in the world
San Francisco has two big, laudable goals that require the city become less dependent on cars. The first, Vision Zero, is to get to zero traffic fatalities by 2024. The second is to get 80% of trips within San Francisco to be completed sustainably, i.e., without the use of cars. To achieve both of these, we need micro-mobility alternatives, and scooters are a solution that has worked in a broad diversity of cities across the globe.
Unfortunately, achieving either of these goals will become much more difficult, with micro-mobility provider Bird announcing they are leaving SF, citing impossible bureaucracy and punitive fees. Instead of fighting innovative companies and employers, our city should be working with them. San Francisco once again dreams for the right goals, but can’t get out of its own way…
Tenderloin merchants say the city is failing them
First with the pandemic, and now with declining tourism and a hollowed-out downtown core, San Francisco small businesses can’t seem to catch a break! Unfortunately, high rates of property crime are now also taking a toll, and is threatening to close up many of the city’s small business.
Many of these business owners are asking for a greater police presence on the streets, and for faster response times and greater closure rates; City Hall aims to meet this demand, but has had trouble doing so. Hopefully our small businesses get some relief - and protection - soon.
Chinatown businesses fined for “illegal awnings”
In what is possibly a targeted harassment campaign against Chinatown businesses, a huge spike in anonymous complaints against decades-old businesses is putting entrepreneurs on edge.
“Everybody’s really scared and am I the next one who’s going to get one?” Lily Lo, founder of BeChinatown, said.
We certainly believe that awnings should be safely secured, especially given the recent high winds, but this surge in anonymous complaints seems more motivated by anti-Asian sentiment than safety. Let’s worry about how hard it is for immigrant entrepreneurs to run a business, not their awnings.
Five ways Gen Z is different (and the same)
The SF Standard continues to run interesting polls that help us learn about our city.
“About 28% of San Francisco voters are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to The Standard’s Fall Voter Poll. A third work in the tech industry, nearly all are Democrats, a majority are public transit riders and SF’s youngest voters are more than twice as likely as the average San Franciscan to be currently dating someone—sound about right for the fast-paced 20-somethings of the city?”
What makes Gen Z different from their elders?
They’re less likely to say they’ll be here in the long-term
62% are renters, and 64% support converting single-family homes into duplexes, triplexes, and more
61% want “unarmed neighborhood ambassadors” for public safety, and 61% want fentanyl dealers charged with murder if the user dies of an overdose. Just 50% want supervised drug consumption sites, vs only 35% of the rest of SF.
While they’re still the most progressive voting bloc, 45% report becoming less progressive in the past year, 25% the same, and only 29% got more progressive
They still don’t vote
Read the full report at the SF Standard
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Tell Supervisor Chan to pass emergency police funding
We must pass emergency police funding to keep officers on the streets. If we don't pass it:
The Police Academy will not train new officers until next fiscal year
Fewer officers will be able to respond to 911 calls
Officers won't be able to work overtime, taking officers off the streets so calls for help will go unanswered
The only thing standing in the way of safer streets is Supervisor Connie Chan. Tell her that you support the emergency police funding bill and that she needs to introduce it at Budget Committee and VOTE YES!
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
Tulip day at Union Square
WHEN: Saturday, March 4, 1pm - 4:30pm
WHERE: Union Square Plaza
American Tulip Day is returning to Union Square Plaza in San Francisco on March 4, 2023, 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Union Square will be transformed by 80,000 American-grown tulips, grown from Dutch bulbs, in honor of International Women's Day.
Pancake Guy is back, flipping short stacks for free
Curtis Kimball, AKA the pancake guy is back! After a short stint away to help with ailing family members, Kimball is back in SF for good — and back to slinging flapjacks.
“I would say these pancakes are as sweet as the community,” said Phillip, who brought whipped cream to the free pancake event. Follow him on Twitter to catch the next batch of free pancakes, and don’t worry, they’re always made with love.
Black business owners share what drives them
The SF Standard asked some Black business owners about what inspired them to be an entrepreneur and what keeps them going.
Fritz Clay, of Hair Play Salon: “History has conditioned Black women to believe that they are not beautiful when they wear natural hairstyles, and I have been here to empower and make change.”
Nurjehan De Leon, aka Gigi the Alchemist, of Hella Spiritual: “I needed to strengthen my spiritual relationship with myself and my daughter.”
Sandra McNeil, of Punkin’s 1 Stop Beauty Bar: “I did it for my daughter who was killed on the Golden Gate Bridge. The healing process has been hard at times, but I keep my head up.”
Sshane Thomas, of Happy Soul Candles: “My mother loved burning scented candles, but lost her sense of smell when she was diagnosed with cancer.”
Will Lassiter, of Jamaica Africa Yay Area: “I am trying to get people in the Black community to learn more about their health to heal because a lot of us are unhealthy and relying on programs that were not built for us.”
We wish all of the incredible entrepreneurs great success!
Love the GrowSF Report? Share it
Help GrowSF grow! Share our newsletter with your friends. The bigger we are, the better San Francisco will be.
Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
We got quite a dusting!